Old Electronics in Storage Still Contribute to the Problem
Storage units across North America contain vast numbers of electronic devices. Most are outdated or otherwise no longer in use. Good hearted people mistakenly believe that they are helping the earth by not using precious space in landfills to dispose of unwanted electronics. These assumptions also don’t benefit the population, though. Computers, monitors, cell phones, and many other electronics often contain rare and precious metals.
Tons of rock are ripped from the earth and transported to refineries. They go through the process of smelting to separate the rock from the rare metal particles. Rare metals are difficult and tedious to abstract from ore because the metals are minutely dispersed within surrounding bedrock. Energy use of recycling is extremely little, in contrast to the damage caused by mining. Mining scars the earth and takes massive amounts of manpower and machinery. The industry also employs heavy equipment which uses large amounts of fuel. These machines admit large amounts CO2 into the atmosphere.
One rare metal contained within some of your old electronics is an element called osmium. It is a noble metal contained within circuit boards. It has a unique quality of extreme hardness. It corrodes quickly when exposed to air, emitting poisonous fumes. Osmium is mined from an arc within the earth’s mantle, but the deposits are valuable to scientists. Evidence of the formation of the earth’s first crust may be found in the same location. The mining of Osmium changes the earth’s mantle because of the immense force and work that goes into its extraction. The same can be said about many other desirable elements.
We as consumers are not going to stop buying new electronics soon. It is best to recycle rare metal from old electronics instead of hoarding old electronics with the selfish possibility that we may actually use them again one day. Storing unused electronics, instead of recycling, contributes to the frustration of conservation and hinders the acquisition of precious metals. If your business or company has a surplus of old electronics that are just collecting dust, the benefits of recycling them far outweighs the amount of space they’re taking up. Please contact a representative from Orlando Recycles today at (407)273-1395.